Boeing and Southwest Airlines have announced that the airline company will continue to build its Business around the 737 Max family endorsing its confidence in the troubled aircraft with the new order for 100 airplanes.
The Dallas Based Low-Cost Carrier plans to retire quite a significant number of its older aircraft in their fleet as they come to around the age of their mid-twenties.
Southwest said it would convert firm orders for 70 Boeing 737 Max 8 planes to the smaller model.
The first 30 Max 7 jets are scheduled to be delivered to Southwest next year. The Max 7 is slower selling compared with the more popular Max 8 jets. This evaluation by Southwest means that Boeing and its suppliers could build more than 600 new 737 Max jets for the airline through to 2031.
In November U.S. regulators and many other Countries had lifted the grounding of the 737 Max following the two fatalities – Lion Air and Ethiopian airlines after almost 20 months.
“Southwest Airlines has been operating the Boeing 737 series for nearly 50 years, and the aircraft has made significant contributions to our unparalleled success. Today’s commitment to the 737 MAX solidifies our continued appreciation for the aircraft and confirms our plans to offer the Boeing 737 series of aircraft to our Employees and Customers for years to come,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s chairman and CEO. “We are proud to continue our tradition of being the world’s largest operator of an all-Boeing fleet.”
Southwest had been working on options to upgrade & replace the largest component of its fleet: the 737-700 that serves the airline’s needs for a 140-150 seat airplane.
The jet will complement the 737-8, which serves Southwest’s needs for a 175-seat model.